Why does Indian's Karnataka state want its own flag?

Can Karnataka Have Own Flag? Government Sets Up Committee To Explore

Can Karnataka Have Own Flag? Government Sets Up Committee To Explore

Last month, the Congress party-led state government constituted a nine-member panel, including bureaucrats and academics, to advice on the legality of the issue and also suggest a design for the state flag.

At present, no state except Jammu and Kashmir has a flag, and the move has evoked a sharp reaction from the BJP which has dubbed it anti-national.

Karnataka has already been using a red-and-yellow flag unofficially during state events, both at government and private ones organised by pro-Kannada groups. The panel will be headed by the principal secretary of the Department of Kannada and Culture and will comprise bureaucrats and academics, India Today reported. "This country's integrity, sovereignty or unity won't be threatened by merely having a state flag, as the Opposition claims", Siddaramaiah said.

"We have a state anthem, has this in any way affected the national anthem or its status?" he retorted. Till this day, the perceived undermining of Kannada language and culture by the settlers is seen as a flashpoint for the politics in the state.

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Constitutional expert, P P Rao, while speaking to ANI, said that the Constitution only provides for the national flag. "However, the manner in which the state flag is hoisted should not dishonour the national flag". Asked whether the law department was never consulted in this issue, Jayachandra said: "The setting up of the committee was an administrative decision and that has been taken by the department concerned".

Currently, Jammu & Kashmir is the only state permitted to fly its own flag under Article 370 of the Constitution that gives the state special autonomous status. "It has to be always below the national flag", the Supreme Court had said. The JD (S) in Karnataka said that the state government is creating this issue to divert attention of some recent controversies.

He dared the BJP leaders to make a public statement that the party is not in favour of a flag for Karnataka.

While Yeddyurappa accused the CM of playing to pro-Kannada groups to gain votes for the 2018 assembly polls, Siddaramaiah says the BJP too is ambiguous about its stand as they too do not want to upset their vote banks. It had then told the Karnataka High Court that the move would be against the unity and integrity of the nation, NDTV reported.

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